Andronovo Labs carries out the scaling and industrial production of enzymes with the in-house developed recombinant micro-organisms.
The production of ethanol from lignocellulosic biomass via the enzymatic hydrolysis process requires the use of cellulytic enzymes that allows releasing the sugars present in the biomass structure to be able to be later fermented in ethanol. This second generation ethanol production process is still at the development phase and requires significant technological improvements to guarantee its flexibility, which must arise in both reduction in enzyme cost and reduction in consumption by their increase in efficiency. This is explained, on the one hand, by the fact that lignocellulosic biomass has a complex structure that entails that the quantity of enzymes necessary for its transformation to sugars is high compared with the process using starchy raw materials (first-generation ethanol). Furthermore, there is barely commercial cocktails designed for this purpose in the market, which means their price is high.
Aware of the high expected turnover for lignocellulosic biomass enzymes, the main industrial enzyme producers have strongly commitment to more efficient and economical enzymatic mixtures. Thus, in recent years, new, increasingly efficient enzyme generations have been launched on the market, making it possible to significantly reduce the contribution to the cost of ethanol. Likewise, Andronovo Labs has strategically committed to the development of these enzymes for biomass.
Additionally, Andronovo Labs has launched the enzyme development project including creation of its own research laboratory with potential to continue, on an internal basis, the improvement of the licensed enzymes and the scaling of technology to achieve the profitability objective in second-generation bioethanol in four years. The improvement program of the fermentation stage at a laboratory scale focuses, on the one hand, on the reduction in operating costs (mainly those associated to raw materials) and, on the other, to the increase in process productivity, to obtain a better quality product at a lower cost.
The enzymes used in the ethanol demonstration plant from biomass that Andronovo Labs has in Nalagonda, Andhra Pradesh, with a capacity to produce 1 million liters per year, and which will serve to improve plant design on a commercial scale which will be built in the next few years, assess operating costs, identify bottlenecks and optimize their operation. The demonstration plant has been operating with our enzymes with results as satisfactorily as those obtained with other commercial cocktails.
Given that the existence of high quality enzymatic cocktails at a competitive price is necessary for the industrial implementation of second generation ethanol production technology, our industrial enzyme production is a significant milestone in this field.